You Can Help George Win a Van

One year ago this week, as the birds were hatching on our porch and the rose bush was in full bloom, our friend George was shot, just four blocks up the street. The bullet that hit his neck lodged in his C-7 and paralyzed him from the chest down. For eight months, George lay on his back in a hospital bed. Most of the medical and social work professionals who worked with him said George would never live outside of an institution again.

But George said, “I’m gonna drive.”

After working hard in rehab, George came home to stay with us at Rutba House in early February of this year. With good medical care, determination, and the patient love of lots of friends, he’s made steady progress–getting out of bed, learning to use a wheel chair, even hoisting himself in and out of our family van. But all along, George has maintained, “I’m gonna drive.”

I believe he will. But here’s the exciting news: you can help make it happen. For National Mobility Awareness Month, there’s a contest. Three people will win a fully equipped, handicap accessible van. And the winners will be determined by the number of votes that each nominee gets by May 13th.

So here’s what we need you to do.

1) Click here to Vote for George. (Use the promo code “963″ to multiply your initial vote times five.)

2) Share this. Email it. Tweet it. Post it to Facebook. Holler at everyone in your office and ask them to help.

3) Vote Early, Vote Often. We’re getting a late start, but you can vote once every 24 hours until May 13th.

George thinks I’m a little crazy for thinking we can win this. And maybe I am. But if I’ve learned anything in our life here at Rutba House, it’s that the unimaginable is possible when people come together in the power of love.

As a matter of fact, that’s the only thing that makes our life here possible.

I’m glad for this chance to invite you to join us.

Check out this front page news story on George in our local paper, The Herald Sun.


  • Shirley Ostrander

    I’m shopping for a wheelchair accessible van right now – the costs are OUTRAGEOUS!! A new, well equipped van, before you add hand controls can run as high as $63,000

    A used, 2004 full sized van with stained carpet and worn leather seats and well over 100,000 miles is 20,900

    I found a 1993 – it was only 11,000

    Hope this gentleman wins the van!!

  • Nate & Kimberly

    This was emailed to me this morning. I sent it out to my church, family and friends. I was just praying for an opportunity to minister to the folks at Rutba House. George, I hope you get this van. We are joining in to vote for you. We’re praying for you and everyone involved with Rutba House. Thanks for your faithfulness Jonathan and not being afraid to dream big! Grace and peace.

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  • Billy Kenney

    George, I’m inspired by your courage and determination…..keep going……..


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  • Lynn O’Gorman Latchford

    Dear George… we are voting for you from Ireland, maybe a little luck of the Irish will help see you over the rainbow to the van waiting for you… from all of us here in Ireland, Trí na chéile a thógtar na cáisléain. Translation: In our togetherness, castles are built. LOL

    • Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

      Thanks, Lynn. I’ll share with George. Bless you, jwh

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  • Jamie Jamison

    Jonathan, I’ve voted for George several times already. Is there any way he would be comfortable sharing a little more of the story of how he got shot and what he is up to with you folks at Rutba? It might encourage even more people to vote. Keep on keeping on, brother, and please pass on my encouragement to George. May the peace of Christ be with you!

  • Jared Peifer

    Doing our best to spread the good word down here in Texas.

    -Jared and Laura

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